Spalding Folk Club had booked Scots-Canadian songwriter David Francey for Wednesday, June 3 but his UK tour had to be cancelled when David developed vocal health problems. Who did we call at short notice? Seasoned folk club performer Bob Fox, of course.
He had scarcely finished a long stint touring in the UK as the music man in the popular West End production of War Horse and was resting before embarking on his own tour featuring songs from the play. He travelled all the way down from his native North East, gave us a brilliant evening of song, music, mirth and anecdote and then drove home again in the early hours just for this one performance.
He gave us a couple of songs from the production, one of which was accompanied on the melodeon, an instrument he had learned to play from scratch in the few weeks prior to taking on the role. He also gave us a few old favourites including Sally Wheatley, the Whitby Tailor and Ralph McTell’s Peppers and Tomatoes, allegedly inspired by the text on a Gro-bag but poignantly about the tragedy of ethnic cleansing in the Balkan conflict.
It was a superb night overall. Bob has a beautiful voice, remarkable musicianship and a compelling stage presence borne of his many years as a folk club performer.
Looking ahead, tonight, at the Welland Yacht Club, Spalding Singaround meets at 8pm. Free admission and all welcome to perform or just listen.
On Monday at the Pig and Whistle, Swineshead, there is a music and song session starting at 8pm.
Next Thursday at the Barn, Baston, the Teacups are in concert (8pm). They comprise two male and two female singers who first met while studying for a degree in folk music in Newcastle. The concerts often sell out so it is best to check first on 01778 560497.
Also on Thursday at Arts Coritani, Swineshead, the Last Thursday acoustic music session has Itchy Fingers as its guests plus floor singers (8pm).
Finally, on Wednesday, July 1, Spalding Folk Club meets again at the South Holland Centre Lounge Bar. The guests are Union Jill. Helen Turner and Sharon Winfield hail from Yorkshire and perform mainly self-penned songs with a modern folk feel, delivered with lush harmonies and great stage presence.